Understanding Egg Certifications in Vietnam: Certified Humane, GAP, and FARMS Compared

May 15, 2024

Confused about egg certifications in Vietnam? You're not alone! As consumers become more concerned about animal welfare, understanding certifications like Certified Humane (CH), Global Animal Partnership (GAP), and Farm Animal Responsibility Minimum Standards (FARMS) becomes crucial. While all three prioritize cage-free housing and enriched environments for hens, they differ in approach. CH offers a single, comprehensive standard, GAP features tiers with increasing welfare requirements (including outdoor access), and FARMS provides general guidelines for responsible animal husbandry. This knowledge empowers Vietnamese consumers to choose eggs aligned with their values while potentially benefiting farmers who can access new markets and prioritize animal well-being.

Eggs are a breakfast staple around the world, and Vietnam is no exception. But with growing concerns about animal welfare, Vietnamese consumers are increasingly interested in where their eggs come from and how the hens are treated. In response to consumers’ concerns,  there are humane certifications have been growing steadily over the years

In this article, we will give you valuable insights into the distinctions between three prominent certifications related to animal welfare: Certified Humane, Global Animal Partnership - the two most popular humane certifications, and Farm Animal Responsibility Minimum Standards (FARMS).

Certified Humane: A Holistic Approach

Photo credit: certifiedhumane.org

Certified Humane by HFAC is a certification program offered by Humane Farm Animal Care (HFAC), a non-profit organization devoted to improving the lives of farm animals raised for food. It's achieved through independent inspections that verify farms meet HFAC's animal welfare standards across all stages of an animal's life, from birth to slaughter. This includes aspects like providing enough space for natural behaviors, access to quality feed free from antibiotics and growth hormones, and prohibiting cages, crates, and tie stalls.

Unlike tiered certification programs like GAP, Certified Humane by HFAC offers a single, comprehensive set of animal welfare standards. These standards apply across all stages of an animal's life and address various aspects like housing, space, feed, and handling. Achieving Certified Humane certification signifies a farm's commitment to meeting these rigorous requirements, ensuring a high level of animal well-being.

Global Animal Partnership (GAP): A Tiered System

Photo credit: globalanimalpartnership.org

Global Animal Partnership (GAP) was founded in 2008 with assistance from Whole Foods Market. Its vision is to create a world where farm animals are raised with respect for their natural behaviors. Its mission is to improve farm animal welfare through a science-based approach and consumer education. It offers a tiered system, ranging from Step 1 to Step 5+, including:

Farm Animal Responsibility Minimum (FARMS) Initiatives: Minimum standards for farmers to follow

Photo credit: farminitiative.org

FARM (Farm Animal Responsibility Minimum) standards were published by FARMS Initiative - a coalition between three global animal protection organizations including Compassion in World Farming, Humane Society International, and World Animal Protection. Its mission is to promote responsible animal husbandry practices worldwide, fostering a more ethical and sustainable approach to agriculture. However, it does not provide farmers with a certified certification like the other 2 previous certifications above.

FARM standards encompass various aspects of animal welfare, including housing, feeding, and health care. Compliance with FARM standards requires farmers to adhere to specific guidelines tailored to different species and production systems.


  1. Cage-Free Housing: All three programs require that hens be raised in cage-free environments. This eliminates the cramped and restrictive conditions of conventional cages, allowing hens more freedom of movement.
  2. Enriched Environments: These three certifications promote providing hens with enrichments that encourage natural behaviors. This can include nesting boxes for egg-laying, scratching areas for dust bathing, and perches for roosting.
  3. Focus on Animal Welfare: At their core, all three programs aim to improve the overall welfare of laying hens. They achieve this by setting standards for factors like housing, handling, and potentially even slaughter practices (in the case of Certified Humane).


Photo credit: HealthyFarm

The Takeaway: Informed Choices for Consumers and Farmers

These certifications pave the way for more ethical and potentially sustainable egg production. As Vietnamese consumers seek out humane options, understanding these certifications empowers them to make informed choices. For Vietnamese farmers, certification can be a key to unlocking new markets, improving animal welfare practices, and potentially enhancing the well-being of their hens. So, the next time you buy eggs, crack the code of these certifications and choose what aligns with your values!